Cuomo still stalling on clearing hydraulic fracturing for New York
posted at 8:41 pm on April 1, 2013 by Erika Johnsen
While other states have been moving right along with deploying the decades-old hydrofracking technique that’s unlocking access to their hitherto hard-to-reach oil and gas reserves (and enjoying the subsequent wealth- and job-creation that comes with it), the state of New York has been hanging back while Governor Andrew Cuomo decides whether he cares more about serving the best interests of his state or placating the vociferous green lobby. The governor has been dithering between continuing New York’s current ban on hydraulic fracturing or allowing fuel companies to go for it in at least the state’s southern portion, and has several times declined to give his approval despite his past testimony that he thinks fracking can be done safely. State-specific studies have already confirmed as much, but he just keeps stalling and turning this into an increasingly agonizing decision — and the waiting game is only making things worse.
Gov. Cuomo is paralyzed with indecision on “fracking’’ for natural gas because it’s a “lose-lose’’ situation where even Southern Tier residents who should benefit financially will be bitterly disappointed, a highly placed political source has told The Post.
Cuomo, who has dithered for more than two years on whether to OK the drilling process, which is used safely in nearly 30 other states, fears that his planned “toughest-in-the-nation” regulations and low natural-gas prices have combined to make it unlikely major gas companies would make the investments needed to develop new wells, the source said.
“His fear is that if he gives the go-ahead, nothing is going to happen, the gas companies won’t come in because of overregulation, and gas-price economics and the people [in the] Southern Tier will then say, ‘Look, Cuomo killed it another way.’ …
Unreasonably regulating the heck out of fracking and rendering yourself less competitive than your neighbors might discourage investment, say what?!
Meanwhile, across the state boarder in Pennsylvania, local economies are reaping the benefits of allowing more intensive oil and natural gas exploration and drilling — and with New York’s unemployment rate still hovering above eight percent, the state would be ill-advised to nix the opportunity on what are clearly just political grounds.